Posted on 30 March 2011 by admin
OSOYOOS TIMES-March 30, 2011
Even if we had the land for it, building a jail in the Osoyoos area would be a bad idea.
This community relies on tourism to stay alive and despite the prospects of hundreds of jobs, having a prison in the area would likely cast a shadow on the sunny, welcoming nature of this resort town.
Whistler wouldn’t want a jail nearby, nor would Banff or Lake Louise.
Regardless of how secure a facility might be, many communities with prisons are often tagged with a stigma.
Whether that stigma is deserved or not, people, especially those looking for a vacation, don’t view prisons as attractive.
How much would bleak walls, fences and the prospect of hundreds of sequestered criminals contrast against our inviting beaches, green orchards and friendly town?
So, the Town of Osoyoos is making the right move in getting behind the concept of putting a jail in the region and not the Osoyoos area.
Mayor Stu Wells said Osoyoos council has drafted its “strongest” letter of support yet to the province for a concept being put forth by the Osoyoos Indian Band to locate the prison the government wants to build in the Okanagan Valley at its new industrial park north of Oliver.
Should the band be successful in convincing the government to build the prison on its land, Osoyoos would still benefit – through the creation of local jobs and the corresponding opportunity to bring more families to this area — without having a jail in its backyard.